I like The Walking Dead, I guess? What is The Walking Dead, really? I’m not trying to be flip or abstract. For a show built on the fairly straightforward thrill of constant prosthetic headbashing, AMC’s undead melodrama has been weirdly difficult to pin down, both for the viewers and for the rotating band of producers. It began way back in 2010 as a horror-flavored neo-western, with a six-episode season that buffered very occasional zombie attacks with long stretches of explicit existential yammering. The second season premiere featured not one but two scenes where characters talked to God via crucifix. The same episode featured an appearance by a deer that served as a clear metaphor for life or whatever, which was confirmed a couple episodes later when lead character Rick tried to explain to his wife that the deer was a metaphor for life or whatever.
That version of The Walking Dead faded away in the second half of the season, when a showrunner shake-up replaced Frank Darabont with Glen Mazzara. We’ll never quite know what happened; it doesn’t seem like the break-up was amicable for anybody. There’s one read on the Darabont era, the Kurt Sutter theory, that he was suffering from budgetary constraints. There’s the counter-read that lots of shows have low budgets and none of them have come up with anything as boring as The Search for Sophia. READ FULL STORY